When it comes to a great meal that is suitable when the kids are present, Frankie and Benny’s is always a good choice. The menu is wide ranging enough to suit all tastes, and children are catered for and made very welcome. On Saturday we were in Blackpool and went along to the Blackpool branch of the restaurant, which is situated just a short walk from the town centre on Festival Park. There we were well looked after by the manager Dan, and our waiter Lee, and enjoyed savouring some of the delights from the current menu.
When we entered the Blackpool branch, we were impressed with how each table was dressed. Our table had crayons and stickers for Joe, which certainly kept him occupied once food had been ordered. Joe knew exactly what he wanted for his main meal – he’s a big fan of the chicken bites and wanted chips with it. We decided to try a couple of the starters first. Pete opted for Caprese Salad, and myself and Joe decided to share a classic garlic pizza bread.
The Caprese salad is slightly different that the traditional version with large slices of tomato and mozzarella. This one is fresh mozzarella, torn and mixed with the smaller cherry tomatoes with added basil, rocket, salsa verde and olive oil. It is also served with freshly baked rosemary bread. The portion size is good and all the elements were really tasty. It’s ultimately a salad – it does what it says on the tin, but this is a particularly good one where the elements work really well together.
The garlic pizza bread is perfect for sharing. The bread is nice and lightly toasted with plenty of buttery garlic making it soft and juicy. I shared this with Joe and it certainly got the thumbs up from my boy – I just about managed to grab a couple of slices!
For our mains, myself and Peter had opted for the traditional Italian American dishes of the Mamma’s classics menu. My husband Pete is Italian, so these are the sorts of dishes he grew up with. This makes him a fairly critical judge when it comes to pasta – is it made like Papa used to make it? Peter opted for the F&B Meatballs, a classic dish comprising of spaghetti with juicy meatballs, bolognese and Neapolitan sauce,salsa rossa, fresh basil, torn mozzarella and served with a bread stick. Now, Pete has had this dish in the past, and although it has been enjoyed, a couple of complaints have always been made. The first is that the pasta has been overcooked, the second is that the dish just isn’t big enough. I’m pleased to say Frankie and Benny’s Blackpool had no complaints. The pasta was perfectly cooked, and with the delicious meatballs it made for a hearty, rustic style dish, In terms of portion size, this dish now comes in a large bowl, rather than a plate, making this a great portion size – in fact, Pete struggled to finish it.
I also chose a pasta dish. I’m not a fan of tomato based dishes, so I love the fact that Frankie and Benny’s have other options. I went for one of the Al Forno bakes, which are pasta bakes that remain in the oven until they are bubbling. I love Cajun spices so chose the Cajun Chicken Bake, which is Chicken, rigatoni pasta, roasted red peppers and red onion, in a creamy Cajun cheese sauce, topped with Grana Padano and a crunchy cheese crumb. Again, this is a dish that has grown in size, and I was really impressed with how much chicken it contained. The Cajun sauce has a really creamy flavour, with that slight undercurrent of heat from the cajun spices. I also loved the edition of red onion and red peppers which added additional, but complimentary flavours to the dish.
We chose two side orders, crunchy homemade slaw and Golden Fries. The homemade slaw was amazing, really chunky cuts of cabbage and carrot in a creamy dressing. It was another portion size that was made for sharing and with the golden fries it made the perfect lunchtime meal.
Joe enjoyed his lunch too, but couldn’t leave without trying out the Sweetie Shop, a child’s feast of sweets, ice cream and pouring sauce. We had great fun with the popping candy too.
Frankie and Benny’s Blackpool is a great alternative to fish and chips when you are visiting the seaside. We were well looked after by the friendly staff, especially our waiter Lee, and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our lunch.
*We were provided with a £50 voucher for our food in return for a honest review.